Constitution Symposium


Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States

Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States by Howard Chandler Christy (1873-1952). Image source

The Political Science Program, in cooperation with university faculty, students, community leaders, and practitioners of law, education, and politics, hosts an annual symposium on the Constitution that examines the history of the constitutional founding period, issues about constitutional interpretation, the meaning of constitutional theory, and the practice of constitutional institutions. 

The purpose of the Constitution Symposium is to promote the practice of constitutional studies that creates an environment of thoughtful constitutional discourse at Bellarmine University.  It is committed to the rational analysis, interpretation, discussion, and debate of American constitutional principles, history, and practice.  It is inspired by a vision of citizenship that is both fully dedicated to the American constitutional order and engaged in deliberation about the meaning of American constitutionalism.

The symposium fits within Bellarmine’s educational environment that is pledged to excellence in teaching and research, academic freedom in scholarship and the classroom, and open debate and deliberation.  The institute fulfills Bellarmine’s mission “to foster a thoughtful, informed consideration of serious ideas, values and issues.”  An understanding of the constitutional system and its relationship to the larger political, philosophical, and historical traditions that shape our world helps cultivate the type of leadership, careers, and service that benefits the community and the nation.  The symposium intends to immediately affect the students of the university and ultimately enlighten all members of the Bellarmine community about the ideas that form the foundation of American constitutional discourse.

Past February Constitution Symposiums

2014 – The U.S. Constitution: Foundations and Controversies

Panelists:

  • Evanthia Speliotis, Professor of Philosophy, Bellarmine University
  • Lee R. Remington, Associate Professor of Political Science, Bellarmine University
  • Jane Lollis, Attorney at Law, Louisville, Kentucky 
  • Cedric Merlin Powell, Professor of Law, University of Louisville
  • Paul E. Salamanca, Professor of Law, University of Kentucky

2015 – The President’s Executive Power: When is it Constitutional?

Panelists:

  • Eric P. Roorda, Professor of History, Bellarmine University
  • Lee R. Remington, Associate Professor of Political Science, Bellarmine University
  • Jane Lollis, Attorney at Law, Louisville, Kentucky
  • Trent C. Apple, Attorney at Law and Educator, Louisville, Kentucky
  • Paul E. Salamanca, Professor of Law, University of Kentucky

2016 – The Will of the People, the Will of the People’s Agents, or the Will of Judges: Reflections on Recent Constitutional Interpretations

Speaker: William E. Thro, General Counsel, University of Kentucky, Adjunct Professor, University of Kentucky College of Law

2017 – Hamilton: An American Musical - Culture, Politics, Education, and History

Panelists:

  • Bethany Morse, Librarian, Oldham County Public Library and Bellarmine University Alumna
  • Tara E. Anderson, Contributing Editor, 89.3 WFPL, Louisville, Kentucky
  • Janelle Hunnicut, Co-Artistic Director, Smoked Apple Theater Group, Louisville, Kentucky
  • Eugene J. Halus, Jr., Director of Education, Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania

2018 – Madison’s Constitution in a Partisan Era

Panelists:

  • Jordan Harris, Co-Executive Director of Pegasus Institute, Louisville, Kentucky
  • Josh Crawford, Co-Executive Director of Pegasus Institute, Louisville, Kentucky

Constitution Symposiums Supporter

Alexander Hamilton Historical Society of Kentucky